Tuesday, September 20, 2011

High Tea


On my Saturday afternoon off last weekend, I was picked up by my buddy who appeared, looking hot, in couture of her own making. Speeding down the street in the Volvo, we flipped the luthier not only the single, but the double bird, as we bolted past him. He was wearing a surly look on his face or as my mother would have it "he was wearing a turd for a brooch"  as he loaded the kids into the family wagon. Giggles and swearing and chatter burst out of us escapees like the corks had popped on our bottles. We cruised off eagerly to our idea of a hot Saturday outing. - The Launceston Horticultural Society Flower Show.

I know, we are WILD!

The show was held in the same hall that hosted my Grade 12 ball. That night, 20 years ago, when I cut a fine figure in my black, raw silk strapless frock with electric blue tulle underneath and sporting a black velvet bolero jacket. My hair, thankfully, had calmed down from its unfeasible heights of the late 80's by then. The immense spiral perm had mostly dropped out. So that night I was crowned with  a shoulder length bob,  tame compared to previous hairdo eccentricities.  I was El Presidente of the Ball Committee that year (the only school office I ever held) and while the hall has changed it remains full of memories. I remember the preparations for that night of nights, including filling and tying ribbon on 100s of helium balloons in black, silver and grey, that floated across that ceiling then painted with stars. And I recall the shyness, the touch and the laughter that accompanied the  compulsory progressive ballroom dancing under those stars. I cringingly remember being pulled up on stage with the band to sing along tunelessly to one of the hot hits of the time - I don't recall the song now, it wasn't Black Velvet by Alannah Myles but that's the only song from that era I can remember.

On this Saturday, the hall was in bloom, hosting a Nanna event extraordinaire, Full of the fresh, oxygen-sweet air of a room bursting with flowers and plants. The atmosphere was sublime. All around blossomed varieties and blooms I had never seen before with exotic Latin names that I will never remember. We wandered around and chatted to bloggy friends, garnering knowledge and advice from our friend from Killiecrankie and imagining midnight guerilla gardening escapades with Suburban Jubilee.  We cruised the blooms and chatted to the sweet aged people around us. We took high tea which was quite a spread for the princely sum of $4 - tea and a plate.  Over tea were shared stories of misspent youth. Hugging ours sides, we laughed uproariously over the distasteful escapades of university days and share house shenanigans. (I hope no offence was caused to the dear Nanna's around us, that they did not catch foul snippets with their tea and biscuits. Although I am sure they would all have tales of their own.)

Times have changed considerably. The wine carrier is now recyclable and full of seedlings. The cup is full of tea. Not a dirty dart or a Zippo in sight. The plants we purchased were to be planted freely in our gardens not surreptitiously in our cupboards under foil and harsh lights. This picture would have horrified 18 year old me.  It was all booze and fags and bands and the boys in the bands and dreaming of life's potential, back in those days of my youth. Those days now glow golden with hindsight but I paid little mind to their glory then.

These new, slow days have simplicity and its greatness in them. I love that they are here.

8 comments:

Loz and Dinny said...

Best 4 bucks I've EVER spent. Like EVER (except maybe when stuyvo's were like just under $4). Think I split a side seam in the couture!

ally said...

Sounds like a total blast
Nothing as good as a laugh that splits the couture

Mama Mogantosh said...

Just a quick one to say thanks for a) your bloggy support in my Toime Of Need (I'm feeling much, much better) and b) introducing me to the phrase 'wearing a turd for a brooch'. xx

Isis said...

i loved reading this, thanks :)

Tanya said...

Gorgeous memories and so worthy of sharing. I'll bet that hall has seen some times. So good to meet up with you.

Killiecrankie Farm said...

No wonder you were having such a grand time - those sort of memories conflict brilliantly with the steadfastness of the hort show :)

Can't wait to see if the gorillas kick off about the suburbs of Launie - Brown Owl may have to make some balaclavas me thinks.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I love your mother's expression !! And I'm envious of both your day out and your misspent youth .
P.S. I wouldn't assume that you could even remotely shock any of the old dears , by the way . Prising the Truth out of them , on the other hand .....?

Apple Island Wife said...

Hmm. I know Lee from Killiecrankie and I know Tanya from Suburban Jubilee, now I'm wondering if I know you in real life as well. I met with a woman called Susie recently and discovered after an hour that we followed each other's blog. It's one of the pitfalls of modern life isn't it, that you know each other online and fail to recognise each other in the flesh. Like that other pitfall of life I recently discovered - graduated lens spectacles. First thing I did upon leaving the shop was say 'Oh hello!' very warmly to a woman whom I then realised I didn't actually know.